Does office romance start by accident through an email?

If you’ve ended up dating someone from the office because he or she ended an email or text with flirtatious little X, you’re not alone, according to a recent survey.

In fact, more than half of office romances have started with an X at the end of an otherwise innocuous little X, according to the online dating site that conducted the research study. But is it wise to always assume that someone’s coming on to you that way?

There actually is a chance that a colleague at work is simply being friendly when they end an email or a text with such a punctuation. Sealing your message with a kiss is oftentimes used as a way to indicate a desire for intimacy, but it’s not always sexually motivated, believe it or not – sometimes it’s just a way to promote a casual friendship in an office environment.

In the employment world where you can get binned for violating sexual harassment rules, you need to be careful you’re not slapping little X’s all over an email to someone who’s going to take offence at what they see as an unwanted sexual advance. You could end up in quite a bit of trouble – or at best end up in a rather embarrassing situation – so it’s better to keep things a bit more professional in official correspondence, regardless of whether or not you fancy the other person.

And you need to be very careful when you’re addressing people from other cultures in an email or text as well, especially since the majority of Brits are relatively relaxed about putting an X in an email. You can confuse or embarrass an American colleague quite easily by sealing your email with a kiss, as our cousins from across the pond usually reserve such displays of affection in an email to a family member or loved one!

Don’t hang about on your dating site

There are many types of dating site offering to match you with your perfect partner. Some would like to charge you for their services, whereas others offer to pair you with prospective partners for free.

When you set out on the road to find a match online, how can you tell whether a dating site is going to fulfil your requirements? With limited time for busy professionals, who only just about have time to date online, let alone find a mate in the real world, time wasting is not an option. Likewise any consideration of wasting funds is also out of the question in this prolonged global economic turmoil, so how do you cut through the swathes to streamline your efforts?

According to one online relationship expert one of the most essential tests you can carry out before going through the entire process of fully completing your online dating profile is examine the profiles of your possible matches.

Many dating sites often entice you to ‘search your matches for free’, even if they charge a nominal fee for actually contacting anyone who catches your eye. In order for dating sites to attain respectability, it is important that they perform; they can have the coolest gadgets, most user-friendly interfaces and largest membership but that all counts for nothing if they cannot deliver its membership matches with whom they are likely to connect.

if at first you don’t succeed, quit

Assuming those criteria are adhered, it makes sense that the initial batches of prospective dates you’re exposed to are your closest matches, based on the scant information you have entered thus far. If there is no one in those first few visits to your new dating site, even after applying a few tweaks, with whom you envisage developing a relationship, then it is unlikely that the matchmaking facility and its membership database will suit you long term. Obviously, the more information you choose to enter, the more refined and appropriate your search results will be, improving the likelihood of suitable matches available.

The hypnotherapist come dating site aficionado adds a little further advice. Women should not instinctively reach for their credit card when joining a new dating site community; even though the site may state clearly that it has a paid membership, many sites offer their facilities to the fairer sex for free. Although this seems sexist, without this option, many adult dating sites especially would be over-subscribed with men and would soon cease to provide a viable service.

The imbalance would see numbers dwindle and, in a catch 22 situation, would soon spiral until new members stopped signing up altogether.

Online dating – the after work quickie

As we recently reported, the days of the official ‘first date’ being a long, drawn out affair are in decline. The quick lunchtime date is growing in popularity as online dating members already know much about their prospective partner from their profile.

However, with no set times for lunch in the business world, a midday meeting can be impractical. There is a happy medium, however – somewhere between an all-out date and the lightning liaison of a lunchtime quickie – the after-work date.

The absolute best thing about a date after work, no matter what you have planned afterwards, you have the perfect opportunity to chill and have a beer or wine before you move on. You have to meet somewhere and it is worth researching a bar beforehand (oh, the hardship) that will set the tone for the evening. Stay away from dowdy ‘old men’s’ bars or those that, although cheaper, may attract characters who have wiled away the day there – you want to start out on a positive note.

The one good thing about meeting in a bar – if you are absolutely convinced the date is going to be a washout – there is no better place to make an absolute spectacle of yourself to put your date off forever!

if the drinks have gone splendidly, what next?

Both sports fans? Why not take in a game? Either go to one locally or head off to the sports bar to watch it, live. If conversation is short, as can be the first time you hook up with someone from your dating site, the game itself will throw up plenty to talk about.

If you’re nearby a city or large town, galleries and art museums often stay open until the early evening; use this to judge how culturally alike you are.

Shopping malls also stay open until late. An insight to fashion sense, shopping tolerance and how interested your partner is in your tastes will come to the fore. Most malls often have bars attached or are on commercial centres with restaurants to hand if you fancy extending the date into a meal.

A wonder around the park at twilight, with woods as a backdrop to the suns last hurrahs, can be a memory-making end to a first date.

And, as we approach Christmas, the many Bavarian and winter markets that descend from Europe can provide plenty to aid the conversation, and provide a snack and a drink as you’re huddled together with your hat and scarf as the chill bites as day turns to night with the seasonal setting bringing romance to within touching distance, if the mulled wine takes effect.

So, there we have plenty of options for your first brief encounter, bringing your online dating partner into your world, for just a glimpse of what’s to come.

Better make it a quickie

Tradition states that the first date is something a bit special, out of the ordinary and an event for which hours of planning and deliberation must be attributed to create that all-important first impression. But, then again, history dictates that meeting someone from an online dating community is a perilous notion (I can just see the Cholmondey-Warner documentary playing out now), but how that has changed in recent times.

The en vogue way to meet up with a prospective partner, especially if utilising a location-friendly application, is by fitting the first date into your lunchtime break.

The ideology of a bouquet of flowers, extravagant setting and pricey meal have all been trashed in favour of a mocha-latte, a sizzler or a friendly little tapas bar, depending upon the amenities close to your work-place. How as this transition happened?

Social media and online dating sites, whereby your profile is visible to those whom you permit to access it, help with a lot of the initial groundwork. Whereas, in the past, that first date was all about getting to know your fellow single, you already have an insight into what makes them tick.

Some dating site profile questionnaires, especially those dedicated to ‘matchmaking’ based on the criteria you enter, that  which forms your personality and what you are looking for in a possible mate, long- or short-term, ascertain more information about you than anyone from those bygone days would ever dream of asking on the initial meeting, wherever it was held.

Theoretically, you are already a comparable match and time-consuming fillers, such as asking about occupations, interests and hobbies, have already been gleaned from the dating website. Any prospective partner worth their salt should already have read, understood and digested this information about you to allow focus on the date itself.

The added bonus, of course, about dating in your lunchtime, is that there is a the reduced opportunity to lead to embarrassing situations at the end. Okay, if you feel a peck on the cheek appropriate or exchanging of contact details other than those to get you together initially, you may feel put on the spot before you head off back to the office.

But if your date has not gone as well as expected, you do not have to make any excuses whatsoever about moving on to somewhere else or coming in for a coffee or getting home if you’re abandoned in the middle of nowhere late at night. Your date knows you have to head back to work and that’s the end of it.

Lunchtime dates may not offer the glitz of The Ritz, but you can see why this slightly one better than speed-dating option is growing in popularity amongst the online dating crowd.

Online daters warned against transmitted infection

Back in the mists of time, when the internet was something you could only access by sacrificing your phone using a dial-up connection, if you visited the dating sites as they were then, you never knew what little infection you’d be picking up and delivering to your hard-drive via the land-line.

How times have changed.

In Nova Scotia, Public Health officials are using online dating facilities as a medium to warn people of sexually transmitted disease, specifically syphilis.

Halifax, the one that is capital and 5,500 km2 of East Coast Nova Scotia, not the one in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, has reported 28 cases of syphilis so far this year. The infection which, if left untreated, can lead to permanent damage of vital organs.

Following investigations, the source of the disease has been traced back to an online dating site, in many of the instances of the outbreak. Hence the urgency in putting together a matchmaking site advertising campaign that will encourage the men to get tested if they show symptoms and to warn women to take extra precautions if meeting for nothing more than a casual, one-off relationship using the dating site membership.

One meeting may be all it takes, as transmittal can occur through oral, anal or straight-forward biblical sex.

a one-off date is sometimes enough

As there are no signs of the cases declining, the Public health department are highlighting the symptoms:-
• unexpected hair loss,
• nasty little rash,
• glandular swelling (throat), or
• rheumatism-like aching of the muscles and/or joints

However, these symptoms, unlike the bug that used to infect your hard-drive, can disappear of their own volition, leaving the victim under the impression that the disease has gone. Your body has only dealt with the external signs, though; the root cause of the problem still lies hidden and will remain beneath to attack the heart and brain, if not treated with antibiotics.

After trying other, more recognised, methods to promote awareness of the condition, the Public Health department no longer ‘believe [their] traditional methods are going to work’ and that using dating sites, where the target market gather by choice, is perhaps the best hope of spreading the word about syphilis.

As a ‘challenging type of outbreak to manage’ and the sexual behaviour that leads up to its transmission, the health department are hoping that dating site members get the message before the disease goes viral.

Do dating sites drain your resources?

You’ve been at work all day, busily sifting through e-mail after e-mail and can’t wait to get home…
…only to have to open up your private message box in your online dating site and repeat a similar process all over again.

Okay, looking for love on line potentially has greater rewards for you than the average 9-5, or so we’re led to believe.

However, recent articles in the press Stateside suggest that a lack of success in finding that special relationship on your singles platform is resulting in a decline in frequency of usage.
Couple that with other external sources questioning the validity of ‘conversion rates’ made by some of the larger matchmaking agencies on the ‘net, many would be Romeos are sending their profiles to the recycle bin.
As internet dating rattles towards its second full decade of existence, with many of us having had a dabble on a dating website at one stage or another since the really big players became accepted in the mid-nineties, the market has recognised that it may be time to spice things up again to keep Joe and Joanne Public interested in the matchmaking services they offer.
Indeed, one Wall St journal summed the atmosphere up quite nicely in one succint headline, only recently:- “Scary New Dating Site: The Real World”.

So, what are the thinkers behind global and UK dating sites dreaming up for its patrons next, especially in view of the fact that the world’s online dating public will be awaiting the outcome of this weekend’s iDate awards in Miami?
Outside of the big players, those boasting memberships that could form a whole nation and circle the world twice if laid head to foot, there are smaller start-ups offering just that little bit more.

The new thinking is not based on filling a whole load of personality traits, pairing DNA or running the whole dating site’s membership through a Deep Thought-type main-frame to see who is the best match.

One such company has looked at the whole process of the online dating searches, based on inconsistent results during the founder’s own search for Mr Right. Her results carry some weight, too; although admitting to having quite a bit of fun with the experience of perusing potential partners on line, the end product was dishearteneding, even with some of the more exclusive matchmaking services.
In recent a interview, the founder gave this insight into what her agency represents and what its membership can expect: “We have to consider you interesting and presentable; you could be stunning but have no personality – we wouldn’t select you. If you weren’t well groomed or had no interests, you wouldn’t make it.”
Having clarified the criteria to join, she then went on to summarise the differences showcased on her site, compared with so many of the online dating sites she found so ineffective, “We try to take people away from their lists – the starting point for any internet profile…we’re acting like friends of friends. Personal recommendation is the way things are going if you can afford it and you’re busy.”
So, before you quit the internet forever as the platform for your primary dating source, just be aware changes are in the wings! And Miami in January may just be where it all takes flight.